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Michael PIVARNIK Obituary

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PIVARNIK, Michael Michael Pivarnik was born on January 5, 1918 in Mt. Carmel, PA. His parents were Michael and Ella Pivarnik. Brothers included Tom and George. The family belonged to the St. Matthew Slovak Lutheran Church in Mt. Carmel. After graduating from Mt. Carmel High School in 1935, Mike enlisted in the Army Air Corps in August, 1941, where he qualified for the first Army Air Corps Officer Candidate School, graduating in May, 1942. After several administrative assignments, he entered flight training and qualified as a combat bombardier in the B-24 Liberator bomber. He flew over Europe with the 389th Bomb Group prior to D-Day, and was wounded in a mission over Berlin, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart. He later returned to flying status, and participated in 35 combat missions in the B-29 bomber with the 98th Bomb Group during the Korean conflict. Other commendations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with numerous clusters. Mike served two tours at Wright Patterson AFB with the Air Force Institute of Technology. He earned a BA in Political Science, an MA in Public Administration, and Education Specialist degree from George Washington University, as well as an MS in Adult Education from Indiana University. He spent many years teaching evening classes at various universities close to where he was stationed at the time. His last military assignment was as Professor of Aerospace Studies, Air Force ROTC, at Indiana University. He retired at the rank of Colonel in 1971. For over 15 years Mike performed as facilitator in the Great Decisions and Spirituality programs at Hithergreen Senior Center. He resided at Bethany Lutheran Village, where he moved in June, 2007 after the death of his wife Claire. Mike had been a member of Epiphany Lutheran Church of Centerville, OH since his return to Dayton in 1978. Mike is survived by his daughter Denise and her husband Tom Nova of Robbinsdale, MN, son James and his wife Linda of East Lansing, MI, granddaughter Michele, her husband Keith Gamble, and their children Oliver and Michael, in Charlotte, NC. Mike has donated his body to the Wright State University Medical School, where a memorial service will be held at a later date. For those wishing to donate to honor Michael Pivarnik, please do so by sending a gift to Epiphany Lutheran Church of Centerville, OH, or the Wounded Warrior Project.

Published in Dayton Daily News on May 13, 2014
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